Newspaper Article

June 15, 2019

"Imminent Judgment Should Motivate Us to Get Busy"

Recently my wife and I, along with our son and daughter-in-law, participated in another one of those escape room experiences in which you try to find clues and solve puzzles in order to get out of a locked room. When we found out the setting for this adventure was a tropical island, I suggested that we might not want to escape such a paradise. However, we quickly discovered our motivation to do so as we were told there was a volcano on the island which was about to erupt. Unfortunately we didnít make it out in time. As our daughter-in-law posted on Facebook afterwards, ďWe are lavaĒ.

Iím afraid many of us have become a little too comfortable in our settings in life. We may not consider it to be paradise, but weíve cozied up to a world in which we often feel very much at home. Weíve accepted much of our culture in spite of the many ways it has forsaken God and His Word. Weíve become so intertwined with certain aspects of our society that we arenít very motivated to escape it or to seek change. And we know if we did, it would be difficult and messy to try to get untangled from its grasp. Therefore a good portion of us are content not to rock any boats and to keep doing what weíve always done.

Meanwhile we ignore the rumblings of the volcano on our island. I believe the wrath of a holy God is growing hot against a world, culture, nation, and religious community that is turning its back on Him and the principles of His eternal Word. Godís judgment is imminent. As a matter of fact, if weíll look around us at what is going on in the world, the eruption appears to have already started. Yet as a stubborn world refuses to listen to God and change their ways, many of us in the church continue to lie in our hammocks, play on the beach, and tell ourselves itís not anything to get worked up about. Or some of those who are aware of the perilous situation are banking on the belief that the Lord is going to pull up in his boat and take them off the island to go home with Him before the lava reaches them.

However, what weíre experiencing isnít an escape room. The goal isnít simply to get off the island and get to heaven. We need to be warning and rescuing others. We need to be doing what we can to hold back the flow of lava. We need to be praying for revival and seeking to help our society return to God and to follow His ways. In the Old Testament, King Josiah was told that judgment was coming but not in his lifetime. He didnít just sit back relieved that he would be spared. He called the people to renew their commitment to God and instituted reforms to try to change the downward course the nation was on (see II Chronicles 34 and 35).

Jesus told us to be prepared for His coming and the day of judgment. Certainly that includes making sure our own souls are right with God. However, He also told us to be faithful to do the work He calls us to do until that time. Imminent judgment isnít the time to just sit back and wait to be whisked off to heaven. Itís a time to make sure weíre busy doing the urgent work Godís given us to do.

The volcano of Godís wrath is rumbling. May it motivate us to get busy doing the Lordís work.